Jordan Reznick

Jordan Reznick is a PhD candidate in Visual Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz. Their dissertation project, “The Steerage as Snapshot: Race, Power and the Vernacular at the Dawn of Modernist Photography” explores how the idea of snapshot photography was invoked in the early twentieth century in order to infuse modernist photographs with racial meanings. They are also a photographer who develops photographic projects within their own communities, working with the entangled agency and vulnerability of the photographer and their subjects. Reznick is Visiting Faculty in Photography and the History and Theory of Contemporary Art at San Francisco Art Institute and a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California Santa Cruz. Their Queer Babes photographic project has been widely exhibited in the United States, including at Aperture Gallery in New York and the Portland Museum of Art in Oregon. They earned an MFA in Photography and an MA in Visual & Critical Studies from California College of the Arts, and a BFA in Photography from New York University.


"My Students are Revolting: Teaching Visual Studies in Times of Political Crisis"

Inviting student rebellion in the classroom is one of many strategies I have adopted for allowing students to learn and demonstrate their knowledge in ways that are embodied, political, and personal. Students are coming to terms with a contemporary world that is complicated and seemingly hopeless. It is globalized, virtual, networked, crisis-ridden, and displaced from traditional ways of living. As students make sense of the complex power relationships that shape their lives, they need opportunities to seize agency in the classroom and practice imagining a world in which living well is possible. Lessons that extend out of the Powerpoint and into student hands satisfy their craving for embodied, unruly, and “IRL” social experiences during the age of social media. These lessons allow students to achieve a more nuanced understanding of the real world applications of visual studies. Yet they also allow educators to use Universal Design for Learning principles to encourage students to learn and perform knowledge on their own terms. During this break out session we will explore how to build student empowerment over the course of a semester.